Monday, 8 June 2009

Froch Keeps Title and Gets Big Reward

Second article from our boxing obsessed contributor, Wizzy.

So Carl Froch extended his unbeaten record (25-0) and did so with a dramatic late KO win over Jermain Taylor. I watched it and was again baffled by the level to which Froch can persistently put on master-classes in how not to box yet still come away with the win. His technical faults appear to be endless; he is adept at parrying shots with his face, moves his head with all the sublime dexterity of a man in a neck brace, walks forward as he punches and relies too heavily on singly shots…yet has never tasted defeat as a pro.

He was completely outclassed for about ten rounds and got dropped in the process. Taylor’s jab was rooted to his chin and he seemed to be moving on fast forward compared to Carl who bore a strong resemblance to a man caught in quicksand but then, in the final straight, Taylor’s heart broke. He had blasted Carl with everything he had but still the bar room slugger piled forward, Taylor had boxed the ears of him but McCracken – Froch’s trainer – was not about to throw in the towel and, ultimately, Taylor’s always suspect stamina reserves were spent. Froch knocked him out with fourteen seconds left in the fight. It was dramatic, edge of the seat stuff but the lingering thought remained: How on Earth does he do it?

Watching the fight, puzzled by the technical inadequacies of a former Amateur success story and professional World Champion, I was reminded by the story of Rocky Marciano and his trainer Charley Goldman. Marciano retired undefeated from Heavyweight Boxing, the only champion to do so (49-0). However, the fact is that from a technical standpoint, he was crap. You would never teach a kid to fight like he did. His own trainer, Goldman, once said in relation to Marciano that, ‘If he did anything right, I didn’t see it’. It feels like that watching Froch which is precisely the reason why I can not wait for the touted fight between Froch and Lucian Bute (which I think is unfortunately actually pronounced B’yoo-tay).

Bute, thankfully, suffers from the same affliction as Froch, in that he is incapable of raising his hands above waist-height, hates his own face and does not believe in the fallibility of the human frame. It is the perfect ingredient for an armchair fan: Two fighters who have absolutely no regard for their own physical features.

It should be a cracker and I wish Froch all the best, not because he has the skills of Ray Leonard or the speed of Joan Guzman but because he makes the fights in the Rocky films look like a pile of puke. I was lucky enough to be in attendance at the Froch vs Pascal fight where again Froch sacrificed himself at the altar of viewer entertainment and for that, and the fact that he is our only current World Champion, we should be thankful. Bring on Bute and may the slugfests continue.

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